"Grass is Greener" Syndrome: Haircuts

Note: This piece was written in good humor (and a bit of sarcasm) after cutting off ten inches of my hair recently. I really do love how it looks now, but I wanted to make a joke about how I know I’ll feel a couple months from now. Enjoy!

Pre-Phase: The Buildup

You’re tired of dealing with long, tangly hair that takes hours to dry and brush out and style. If your shower’s water pressure is anything less than perfect, you have to spend an hour tilting your head and parting your hair just right so that your scalp actually gets wet. And then you can move on to actually cleaning your hair. Oh, and you go through shampoo faster than a family of six.

You’ve started to think, “Gee, it would be really nice to not have to deal with all that any more.” You think it would be a great idea to donate your hair because you totally have enough hair to do that, no question. You start to add more reasons to the mix: it’s getting cold soon and you don’t want a foot-long icicle dangling from your head, it’s getting hot soon and you want to avoid neck sweat, you bought a new jacket that gets stuck in your hair when you take it on and off, you can’t wear your hoodie because your hair gets stuck in the zipper… Soon you start to think you’re crazy for doing nothing about these injustices! You must take action!

Eventually, you make the call and set up an appointment with a stylist you trust. If you’re going to chop it all off, you’d better do it right. You spend the days leading up to your appointment scowling through your morning and nighttime routines, telling yourself you only have to do this for X more days.

When the day comes and you’re walking into the salon, you panic. What if your hair isn’t as long as you think it is? What if they cut off the amount needed to donate it and it’s too short?

But then you sit down, and you do it anyway.

Phase One: Shock

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Look at that ponytail. That was once on your head. It is no longer on your head. How long did it take you to grow that out? Two years? Unbelievable. You can see the literal weight off your shoulders.

Phase Two: Mirror Addiction

You start to look at yourself in the mirror and you think, “Hey, this doesn’t look so bad on me!” Your stylist tells you how much better you look without all that length weighing you down. You walk out of the salon at a near skip. You post a picture on Facebook and your friends tell you how great it looks. They say it again in person. In fact, people you barely know are saying it too. You’re completely overwhelmed with compliments. You’ve never looked or felt so attractive in your life. The selfies are endless.

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You start to think about how to embody your new look. You try out different hairstyles, and it takes about two minutes for each one. You think about how easy it will be to get ready, with your hair drying ten times faster and such quick styling.

Phase Three: Questioning

You don’t notice your questioning thoughts early on, but every time you walk up to a mirror you’re feeling slightly disappointed. It seems like everyone around you has long, flowing hair, and you’re the only one rocking a bob. You’re not sure what it is, but now you’re looking at yourself and thinking, “Did I really do the right thing?”

People aren’t complimenting you on your hair anymore, and you start to wonder if they were just saying that because that’s what you say to someone who gets a new haircut. You’re no longer feeling your new badass persona, because you realize that you kind of miss the femininity of long hair. You think about how your new hairstyle is so much less work to style because it’s so much less versatile. You just feel kind of… bored.

Phase Four: Longing

You hate to admit it, but you miss your long hair. You miss the way it swung around in a ponytail, how fun it was to wrap it around and around into a bun, how gorgeous it was when you took the time to curl it. You miss all of the things you could do with your hair: headbands, braids, chignons…

You find yourself mindlessly reaching up to brush the hair that no longer exists out of your face. You wish more than anything that you could figure out what to do with your second-day hair. You start looking through your old Facebook photos.



Look how much fun you were having!

You start keeping a list of all the hairstyles you found on Pinterest that you want to try when your hair is long again. You applaud at each milestone as your hair grows out: when that last annoying section fits into a ponytail, when you can make a bun, when you can make a braid that holds together.

And once it’s long again, the cycle repeats itself.

How do you deal with a new haircut? Have you ever experienced the “grass is greener” syndrome?

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